The Red Tractor consultation on new standards for crops closed on March 5.
Throughout 2019 and 2020, UK Flour Miller members were consulted on changes they would like to see made to the standards. These centred around continuous improvement to the food safety credentials of the scheme, such as a proposal to restrict shooting over stored grain to address lead shot contamination, an issue highlighted by members in recent years.
Beyond our sector, other proposed changes look to include more standards on worker welfare and environmental aspects such as soil health. Some of these have been controversial, with some farmer representatives querying whether the same standards are applied to imported product and appearing inclined not to support a number of them as they currently stand. This sentiment has likely been driven, in part, by the significant uptick in imports this season and a perception that these are not subject to the same level of assurance.
It’s clear there will be significant debate on the proposed changes, and this will likely cover the existing standards too and the justification for their inclusion.
Food safety is paramount and we will continue to advocate strongly for standards that improve this aspect of assurance. Members will be consulted by the secretariat as the discussion evolves to ensure the milling industry view is accounted for.